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Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneityby Terry Smith
Synopses & Reviews
In this landmark collection, world-renowned theorists, artists, critics, and curators explore new ways of conceiving the present and understanding art and culture in relation to it. They revisit from fresh perspectives key issues regarding modernity and postmodernity, including the relationship between art and broader social and political currents, as well as important questions about temporality and change. They also reflect on whether or not broad categories and terms such as modernity, postmodernity, globalization, and decolonization are still relevant or useful. Including twenty essays and seventy-seven images, Antinomies of Art and Culture is a wide-ranging yet incisive inquiry into how to understand, describe, and represent what it is to live in the contemporary moment.
In the volume’s introduction the theorist Terry Smith argues that predictions that postmodernity would emerge as a global successor to modernity have not materialized as anticipated. Smith suggests that the various situations of decolonized Africa, post-Soviet Europe, contemporary China, the conflicted Middle East, and an uncertain United States might be better characterized in terms of their “contemporaneity,” a concept which captures the frictions of the present while denying the inevitability of all currently competing universalisms. Essays range from Antonio Negri’s analysis of contemporaneity in light of the concept of multitude to Okwui Enwezor’s argument that the entire world is now in a postcolonial constellation, and from Rosalind Krauss’s defense of artistic modernism to Jonathan Hay’s characterization of contemporary developments in terms of doubled and even para-modernities. The volume’s centerpiece is a sequence of photographs from Zoe Leonard’s Analogue project. Depicting used clothing, both as it is bundled for shipment in Brooklyn and as it is displayed for sale on the streets of Uganda, the sequence is part of a striking visual record of new cultural forms and economies emerging as others are left behind.
Contributors: Monica Amor, Nancy Condee, Okwui Enwezor, Boris Groys, Jonathan Hay, Wu Hung, Geeta Kapur, Rosalind Krauss, Bruno Latour, Zoe Leonard, Lev Manovich, James Meyer, Gao Minglu, Helen Molesworth, Antonio Negri, Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie, Nikos Papastergiadis, Colin Richards, Suely Rolnik, Terry Smith, McKenzie Wark
About the Author
Terry Smith is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and a visiting professor in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Sydney. He is the author of several books including The Architecture of Aftermath and Making the Modern: Industry, Art, and Design in America.
Okwui Enwezor is Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has curated numerous art exhibitions, including the 2nd Seville Biennial of Contemporary Art, Documenta 11 (Kassel, 1998–2002), and Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York, where he serves as Adjunct Curator.
Nancy Condee is Director of the Graduate Program for Cultural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of The Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema (forthcoming) and editor of Soviet Hieroglyphics: Visual Culture in Late-Twentieth-Century Russia.
Table of Contents
TERRY SMITH: Introduction: The Contemporaneity Question 1 PART I: THE POLITICS OF TEMPORALITY 1. ANTONIO N EGR I: Contemporaneity between Modernity and Postmodernity 23 2. GEETA KAPUR: A Cultural Conjuncture in India: Art into Documentary 30 3. ROSALIND KRAUSS: Some Rotten Shoots from the Seeds of Time 60 4. BORIS GROYS: The Topology of Contemporary Art 71 PART 2: MULTIPLE MODERNITIES . MONICA AMO R: On the Contingency of Modernity and the Persistence of Canons 83 6. SU E LY ROLNI K: Politics of Flexible Subjectivity: The Event Work of Lygia Clark 97 7. JONATHAN HAY: Double Modernity, Para-Modernity 113 8. GAO MINGLU: "Particular Time, Specific Space, My Truth": Total Modernity in Chinese Contemporary Art 133 9. SYLVESTER OKWUNODU OGBECHIE: The Perils of Unilateral Power: Neomodernist Metaphors and the New Global Order 165 to. ZOE LEONARD: Analogue, 1998-2007 187 INTRODUCED BY HELEN MOLESWORTH PART 3: AFTERWORLDS 11. OKWUI ENWEZOR: The Postcolonial Constellation: Contemporary Art in a State of Permanent Transition 207 12. NANCY CONDEE: From Emigration to E-migration: Contemporaneity and the Former Second World 235 13. COLIN RICHARDS: Aftermath: Value and Violence in Contemporary South African Art 250 14. WU HUNG: A Case of Being "Contemporary": Conditions, Spheres, and Narratives of Contemporary Chinese Art 290 PART 4: COTEMPORALITIES 15. BRUNO LATOUR: Emancipation or Attachments? The Different Futures of Politics 309 16. J AMES ME YE R: The Return of the Sixties in Contemporary Art and Criticism 324 17. LEV MANOVICH: Introduction to Info-Aesthetics 333 18. MCKENZIE WARK: The Giftshop at the End of History 345 9. NIKOS PAPASTERGIADIS: Spatial Aesthetics: Rethinking the Contemporary 363 References 383 Contributors 413
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